Career kickstart: $1 million in cannabis scholarships available for low-income Virginia students 

The times are a-changing, and so are the courses offered by institutions of higher education across the country. And for aspiring cannabis professionals in Virginia, getting a cannabis degree is more attainable now than ever.

The Virginia Cannabis Association is working with the nonprofit Educapital Foundation to provide one-time $1,000 scholarships to eligible students in Virginia. On top of the scholarship, fifty students will be selected upon graduation to receive up to $10,000 in start-up capital to kick off their businesses. 

Juan Silva, Educapital’s director of community outreach, says that low-income students disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs will benefit from the scholarship and eventually boost the local economy.

Cannabis-related courses include cannabis culinary, the business of cannabis, pharmacy tech, and certified grower. The latter can extend into a master’s program. Though the courses are currently offered online through the Mitchell School of Business and Greenleaf University, the organizations plan to work with Virginia Tech and other schools in the future.  

Bobby Vincent III, a cannabis pharmacist working at Beyond Hello dispensary was among the country’s first people to receive a master’s in Cannabis Medical Science and Therapeutics. “I think this is a period of change. I think this is a period of growth,” he said, noting that even after graduating the medical program and entering the workforce, he remained the only African-American in the room. The scholarship is an opportunity he says he wishes he’d had. 

Aspiring cannabis professionals in Virginia can still apply for the scholarship here. We look forward to seeing how more institutions adapt to the growing cannabis industry’s needs.  

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